Leave a legacy to Birkbeck

Thank you for considering leaving a gift to Birkbeck in your will. Making a gift to the College is an incredibly generous acknowledgment of the positive impact that Birkbeck has had on you and your loved ones.

Remembering Birkbeck in your will has a lifelong effect. Legacy gifts, no matter how big or small, ensure that Birkbeck’s values, high-quality teaching, and world-class research will benefit future generations of students.

Here at Birkbeck, we appreciate that a gift made in your will is a very personal decision. Our team is here to help you with any questions you may have so that you feel confident in your choice. To contact us, you can email our team, call us on 020 7380 3187 or complete our legacy form.

Read about some of our Birkbeck legacies

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Frequently asked questions

Please note: the information on this page does not constitute legal or tax advice. When making or revising your will, please do so in consultation with your solicitor or will writer.

How do I include a gift to Birkbeck in my will?

  • There are three main ways to remember Birkbeck in your will:
    • Residuary gift: Leave a share, or the whole, of your estate.
    • Pecuniary gift: Leave a fixed amount of money to Birkbeck. To maintain the real value of your gift over time, you can make the gift index-linked to protect against inflation.
    • Specific gift: Leave a specific asset to Birkbeck, like a piece of furniture or a work of art.
  • If you do not have a will at the moment, we would advise you to see a solicitor or a will writer who will help you through the process.

I would like to leave a gift to Birkbeck in my will, but I want to provide for my family first. How can I do both?

  • Birkbeck understands that your family and friends come first. Once you have supported your loved ones, we hope that you will also consider supporting Birkbeck. All gift amounts and types help our students. Your solicitor or will writer can guide you on how to arrange your gifts.
  • If you would like to speak to us about your options or the tax benefits involved with donating to Birkbeck, or call us on 020 7380 3187.

Where can I find a solicitor?

  • Ask friends and family for recommendations. You can also find a local solicitor on sites such as the Law Society.

I already have a will. Am I allowed to change it or add to it?

  • If you have already written your will but would like to add Birkbeck as a beneficiary, you can do so by making a simple addition, called a 'codicil'. We strongly advise you to visit your solicitor or will writer when including a codicil in your will to ensure that your new instructions do not contradict or invalidate any earlier wishes. If your alteration or addition is more substantial, you may need to alter your will rather than use a codicil. Your solicitor or will writer will be able to advise you.
  • If you do not have a will at the moment, we would advise you to see a solicitor or will writer who will help you through the process.

What is Birkbeck's charitable status?

  • Birkbeck is an educational, charitable, and chartered corporation, exempt under the terms of the Charities Act 2011. Under the Charities Act 2006, universities are supervised by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) as principal regulator. The HEFCE are responsible for ensuring that the College fulfil their obligations under Charity Law.
  • Therefore, a legacy gift made in the UK will be exempt from Inheritance Tax.
  • Birkbeck has a charitable status and is an 'exempt' charity under Schedule 3 of the Charities Act 2011. Consequently, it does not have a registered Charity number.

What are the tax benefits of leaving a gift to Birkbeck in my will?

  • There are many tax benefits involved in remembering Birkbeck in your will.
  • Birkbeck has a charitable status and is an 'exempt' charity under Schedule 3 of the Charities Act 2011. Therefore, an estate does not pay any tax on a gift left to Birkbeck.
  • By remembering the College in your will, you may also be able to reduce the taxable value of your assets and so lower the amount of inheritance tax due on your estate. By UK law, a 40 percent tax is payable on estates worth over £325,000 (this rises to £425,000 if you are leaving your estate to your children or grandchildren). If you leave more than 10 percent of your net estate (this is the total value of your assets, after deducting anything below the inheritance tax threshold and any other reliefs or exemptions) to charity, the inheritance tax will be lowered from 40 percent to 36 percent on the non-charitable parts of the estate. This means that by leaving a gift to charity, you can leave more to your loved ones.
  • For more information about the tax benefits of leaving a gift in your will to a charity, please visit the HMRC website.
  • Your solicitor can advise further on inheritance tax.

Can I include a legacy gift to Birkbeck for a specific purpose?

  • Birkbeck will always do everything in its power to respect the wishes of our donors.
  • If you would like your donation to be directed somewhere more specific, we can work with you on more detailed wording. Please complete the legacy form so we can assist you with this.

What kind of recognition will I receive?

  • If you remember Birkbeck in your will, we will formally recognise your gift, keep you up to date on college news, and invite you to events.
  • Of course, should you want to remain anonymous, we will honour your wishes. Any information you share with us will be kept private and confidential.

Do I need to let Birkbeck know that I have left a gift in my will?

  • We understand that the decision to leave a gift in your will to Birkbeck is a personal and private matter. However, we hope that you will tell us about your gift so that we can make note of your intentions, recognise your generosity, and thank you.

How do I let Birkbeck know of my intentions?

  • Please complete our online form.
  • Alternatively, you may send a letter, email, or call our Development and Alumni Team.
    • Email
    • Call 020 7380 3187
    • Write to Development and Alumni, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street London WC1E 7HX

I need more information. Who should I contact?

  • Kara in our Development Team is on hand to assist with any questions you may have.
    • Email
    • Call 020 7380 3187
    • Write to Development and Alumni, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street London WC1E 7HX

Why do I need a will?

  • No matter your health or financial situation, it is important to make a will. A will, written with the help of a solicitor or will writer, is the only way to be sure that your assets will go where you intend them. If you do without a will or have an invalid will, all or part of your possessions may go to HMRC and not to your loved ones.